If you've read my other reviews you'll probably conclude that I've got a high standard. I have to say this has been met and exceeded at Bikram Yoga London Canary Wharf. My primary goal for trying Bikram yoga (which I'd heard is far different from either plain yoga or even what copycat operators call 'hot yoga') was I had to lose weight quickly for the upcoming wedding of my closest friend. As Canary Wharf seemed easy to get to and had good reviews from some of my Canary Wharf based colleagues I decided to give their Intro Offer a try as it was an easy way of giving it a go without making a committment. The studio is a couple of minutes walk from Canary Wharf tube across a footbridge. When you enter for the first time you sense that you're coming into a place that's well managed and whose staff seem helpful and learn your name quickly. I had registered online so there was no paper form to fill out and the process took around a minute. It's important to note that this is not a large gym chain type of business, but a specialised and bespoke yoga studio. Once I had changed I entered the yoga room and felt like I was walking onto a beach in the tropics. The room was very warm and there were beach towels laid out onto people's mats. The class was busy but you could feel a real energy in the room as the instructor gave a short speech, asked about any injuries and encouraged us to try and follow the instructions to the best of our ability. The yoga is very different from the yoga done at typical gyms in that the room is heated to something that must exceed 40 degrees. They challenge you to stay in the room for the whole time even if you can't do all of the postures, which shows that they believe strongly in their process yet are gentle especially with newcomers. Bikram is a very technical yoga from what I've gathered, particularly as it's designed for beginners. The teacher was firm but encouraging, and pushed us during postures. Perhaps that's why they say this yoga gets results. I was apprehensive before trying it, but when I saw a mix of people arund me, some who looked like they were in their 70's, some clearly quite out of shape, and many looking like superbly fit yoga types, I relaxed knowing that this yoga is pretty much for everyone. During class I sweted like never before, and afterwards felt like I'd tumbled through an ocean wave. I was totally spent, but felt incredibly calm and relaxed like I'd had a deep massage. A couple of what seemed to be more experienced clients asked me if it was my first class, and were quite friendly and encouraging. There was little to no wait for the showers, and as they state that they use a special soft water treatment my skin felt really clean and soap-residue free. One nit-pickng item: the soap dispenser next to my shower was empty so I used the adjacent one (hint to management). I spent £40 for 20 days, plus around a quid for water though you can bring your own. The premises are great. The carpet in the yoga room is plush and clean, and the changing rooms and general venue are spotless. I attended 5 times during my Intro offer and estimate I lost 2-3 pounds in those first 20 days alone. I signed on to a 6 month susbscription as the rates were very reasonable and the results have been basically mind-blowing a month later. It is like nothing I've ever done before and I'm totally addicted. If you want to try yoga and have high expectations of the venue and of yourself, I highly recommend the Canary Wharf studio.
I've been going to the Canary Wharf yoga studio for almost 2 years. With great and inspiring teachers such as Richard and Beth along with Jay and Connie the practice really helped me to adopt the practice several times a week. I've felt really much better health wise and has helped bring mindfulness and meditation to my daily routine. I would really recommend for anyone that would like to find a better balance in the everyday and improve flexibility at the same time!
I actually registered just to review this place. I love hot yoga/pilates and I've been practicing it around London ooccasionally - usually when i feel my body stiff, but this gives me enough a basis to compare. This is by far the worse studio in terms of teaching. I have so far tried Sindy and Richard.I dont know if this is what Bikram yoga is about (I've never practiced Bikram before) but if its all about non-stop, rigorous shouting through the microphones as if describing a football match, and being extremely arrogant and patronising to people, then I guess they are doing a fantastic job. I am forcing myself to go back there as i'm on the 2 week unlimited offer but so far I have left the class each time annoyed because of teachers' arrogance. I work in an investmetn bank so I'm not to sensitive to arrogant behaviours and big-headedness but this is not what i expect to have to deal with when i walk into a yoga studio. I certainly not expect to be attacked because i am not managing the position according to their standards, and been given a LIVE lecture over the microphone about not letting anyone convince me I am incapable (i mean seriously???????????) and blah blah. 3 whole minutes over the microphone - True story people:) Out of respect to my fellowes practitioners I did not answer back, so in this sense Richard was lucky. Patronising, ignorant, arrogant. Anyway, it was not personal, i was altogether at UNease with the loud, obnoxious and rough style.
Moving on - The changing rooms are ok but it stroke me that the lockers are small enough only for a wallet and mobile. All other stuff are left out in the open. Guess its ok if most people are members etc.
Finally the fact that they do not have anywhere to fill water but can only buy water, just reinforces the fact that these guys are all about the buck and have no love for yoga or interested in the true comfort/service/experience of their clients. Trully disappointed and genuinely perplexed about all these great reviews? will make an effort to go back there and try a 3rd teacher . will update if any better. As you would imagine - I would never recommend this place to anyone.
Its a shame as Canary Wharf really needs a hot yoga/pilates place, as there is so much demand and nothing nearby. I am urging anyone who is thinking to open a studio here, not to be deterred by this studio - it poses no real competition.
As far as Bickram studios go this one is rather good. The changing areas and WC’s are spacious and clean. They are a little on the cold side however this is nice after the class. If you go expecting a high street gym studio then you will be disappointed however if you are familiar with the standard of bickram studios in London you will be pleased. The studio is a good size and as I attended the women’s only class on Sunday and there were only 7 people in the class there was plenty of room. The air in the studio is regular and it is not too hot.
It is a little difficult to locate the studio from the outside. But after walking around twice I found out that there is a bell on the main front door which lets you in. As soon as you enter you know you are in the right place as the smell of sweat and shoes hits you
A negative is that you are charged £1 for a mat, this is a bit cheeky when you have paid for the class.
I will definitely go again !
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Great venue and the teacher was amazing, after hearing about this venue on from twitter I could not wait to try the class. Loved it and now i'm a member.